Are you working tirelessly trying to grow your Instagram, only to be left with a very slow growth or even none at all? Ask yourself, is my profile polished up, am I releasing quality content, am I posting at the best times of day? If you are doing these things but to no avail, It could very well be the hashtags you are or aren't using.
What Exactly are #Hashtags?
To put it in a way that is easy to understand, #Hashtags are are like little bookmarks to mark your favorite things on Instagram. Things that you might want to visit on a regular basis to see what's new or changing.
For example: If you're a Basketball enthusiast and you want to use your Instagram to stay up to date in the Basketball world, you might choose to follow these hashtags: #Basketball #NBA #Sports etc.. If you choose to follow these hashtags, you should start seeing posts show up on your feed, from official pages as well as other pages who are sharing and including that hashtag in their post.
If you're wanting to reach more people, consider which hashtags your preferred audiences are likely to be following, that way your post will land in their feed..
Working Hashtags vs Non-Working Hashtags
Some hashtags are popular and work, some are popular and don't work, while others are not popular and work and others are not popular and do not work. It might seem a bit confusing at first but you will understand! Let's learn the differences..
Let's say you're about to make your first post and want to use hashtags. You have a great picture of a frog and you want as many people as possible to see it and like it. Consider these hashtags:
Popular and Work
The hashtag #frog pertains to your post Directly and Specifically and it's Popular, (3.1 Million Uses) use it.
Popular and Do Not Work
The hashtag #nature applies to your picture directly but not specifically and it's Extremely Popular, (380 Million Uses). 380 Million is a lot of competition, unless you have 50k+ followers, your post will likely get pushed down the hashtag feed very fast and won't even get noticed. We would recommend not using a hashtag this broad until you have a very large following.
Not Popular and Work
The hashtag #froglove pertains to your post Directly and Specifically, but lacks popularity with only 27.5k uses. It still has some popularity but not nearly as much as trending ones like #nature and #frog. That's OK, it's still popular enough to use and there isn't as much competition. Use it!
Not Popular and Do Not Work
Unless you're posting a frog meme, the hashtag #frogmeme would be an example of an unpopular and non-working hashtag for a frog post. Though it pertains to frogs specifically and directly, there aren't enough people using this hashtag to gain a good reach. We suggest not using a hashtag that is this unpopular.
How to Select Which Hashtags Are Best For Your Account
Let's consider what type of account you have, who your competitors are, and how we can use your competitors to your advantage.
Let's say you would like to build an Instagram page to promote your Vintage Clothing store on Etsy. As we discussed previously, don't use hashtags that are too broad, like: #clothes, #sweater #jeans etc.. You will want to use hashtags that pertain to Fashion and Vintage items, that also have a bit or a lot of popularity.
A quick and easy way to find hashtags that will work, is to check out your competitor's pages. Start by typing in the Instagram search #vintageclothing. The matching result should have a high number of uses (popular).
Click on the top hashtag. This will bring you to a list of the Top-Performing Posts using this hashtag. Click on one of the Top Posts.
Next, check the caption or the comments of that post and look for the list of hashtags that they are using..
Store these hashtags in the notes of your phone. Since you can't copy and paste them directly from Instagram, you will need to type them in manually. Be careful to check for spelling, as one error can make the whole hashtag irrelevant. Repeat this process until you have 30 hashtags. 30 is the maximum amount of hashtags that you are allowed to use for each post. You can post them in your caption area while making the post, or in your comments, after making the post. Either way works..
You can also get your hashtags from other popular vintage clothing accounts, by copying the hashtags that they are using.
This method works with all types of accounts, such as: Photography, local business, fitness, food, travel, etc..
As long as all of the other criteria for making a great post are met (An important message, Photo quality, Interesting caption, Polished profile, Analytics turned on, Usage of you story, Engaging with others, etc..) you should start reaching a lot more people with hashtags!
It's also important to note that you should have several unique sets of 30 hashtags saved. This way you're not always using the exact same hashtags with every single post. Time consuming, I know.. But well worth the effort!
You can also try using a Hashtag Generator, though, it is recommended that you do it Manually, as we instructed.
So get out there and start growing your Instagram!
Be sure to check out our other
If you're struggling with photo quality, learn some Photography tips HERE
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram for more awesome content! @jake.pnw
You can also find me on Facebook:
Let us know your social media questions in the comments below and Give this Post a SHARE!